Shooting at Hampton University
Posted by shadmia on April 27, 2009
Three unnamed persons were in hospital, recovering from gunshot wounds they received on the grounds of Hampton University on Sunday (4/26/09). They include the 18-year-old gunman himself and his two victims – a 43-year-old pizza deliveryman and the 62-year-old night manager of the dormitory, Harkness Hall, at Hampton University. All three are expected to recover fully. No students were involved in the incident.
Hampton President William R. Harvey said he arrived within 15 minutes of the shooting and a lock down was already in place. Harkness Hall had been evacuated. He told a news conference the campus shooting could have been much worse.
“I think we are very, very fortunate. This could have been another — you fill in the blank,” Harvey said. “The Hampton University community is praying for those injured in this tragic incident.”
Per university policy, all students, faculty and staff were notified about the situation via text message and e-mail. David Wilkins, a freshman from Germantown, Md., said when he and his fellow dorm mates left Harkness they were instructed to go to other dorms.
“A lot of people didn’t know what was going on in Harkness,” Wilkins said of other students on campus. He said the first alert wasn’t issued until 2:30 a.m.
Hampton officials said the first alert was issued at 2 a.m. They defended the timing of the alerts but Harvey said: “We’ll go over every aspect of this.”
The incident began around 1 am Sunday morning when a 18-year-old former student, armed with three guns, apparently parked his car off campus to avoid a vehicle checkpoint at Hampton’s main gate. He followed the pizza delivery man on foot to Harkness Hall, the freshman dormitory. Once inside, he shot the pizza man and entered the monitor’s office and fired three shots at him. He then shot himself, Hampton University Police Chief Leroy Crosby said.
The monitor was hit three times – twice in the arms and once in the leg. He was taken to hospital where he was treated and released.
“He feels, as I do, that he was extremely lucky and blessed,” Harvey said of the monitor.
Jelani Holland, 18, a freshman from Los Angeles, said he and other students were playing music and video games in the all-male freshman dormitory when they heard a fire alarm sound early Sunday. As they left their rooms, they saw the delivery man shot in the neck and stomach outside the monitor’s office. Police were applying pressure to his wounds, he said. “He was shaking a lot and talking with police,” Holland said.
The pizza delivery man and the gunman were taken to hospital where they remain in stable condition. Hampton police Cpl. Paula Ensley said Sunday afternoon the suspect had not yet been charged but no other details in the case were being released. No motive was given for the gunman’s attack.
Hampton University is a private school in southeastern Virginia with about 5,700 students. It was founded in 1868 during Reconstruction to educate black leaders for the newly freed slaves.